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27 December 2010 @ 11:10 pm
Law & Order: UK  
I've spent a fair amount of the last two days watching episodes of Law & Order: UK on BBC America, because, you know, Freema. Who continues to be adorable. Also, I want her wardrobe of little work-appropriate dresses and cardigans.

Though I'm a bit taken with most of the cast as well, except perhaps Jamie Bamber. I have nothing against him, mind, it's just the character he's playing: intellectually I get the appeal of the hotheaded young idealist, but my heart almost always belongs to the cautious, circumspect men who put principle above everything, even at great personal cost to themselves--and so I may have developed a sudden fondness for Ben Daniels and his character James Steel.

It's also interesting that the episodes had a very clear focus on the disenfranchised, at least from the ones I saw; I don't know how much that reflects the original series, or how the writers went about adapting the plots of those episodes, but the crimes seemed less sensational than L&O episodes I've seen, and more about what happens when people fall through the cracks. But it's not like I watch a lot of L&O, so take that with a grain of salt.
 
 
 
harder, harder, hardest; i am the artist: l&o:uk -- james/alesha | b&w layerradiantbaby on December 28th, 2010 05:33 am (UTC)
I definitely [heart] Law and Order: UK. :)
tempestsarekind: i love freema's bunny facetempestsarekind on December 28th, 2010 06:21 am (UTC)
I definitely enjoyed it!
Valancy: ManOfHonorvalancy_s on December 28th, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
intellectually I get the appeal of the hotheaded young idealist, but my heart almost always belongs to the cautious, circumspect men who put principle above everything, even at great personal cost to themselves

This made me laugh, because it settles the question of whether I should watch L&O:UK, despite my dislike of lawyer shows, for the sake of Jamie Bamber. But since I fell in love with him for playing a man who put principle above everything, even at great personal cost to himself... I guess I can skip it :)
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on December 28th, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
Well--I don't want to suggest that his character isn't principled! It's just that he falls most closely into the category of the rookie; his world seems very black and white, and he hasn't yet learned that sometimes the bad guys get away, or sometimes the good guys get punished, because the law comes first. And I love the guys who put the law/principle first, because--despite the claims of others who suggest that they have no feelings--it's always a struggle, and we see what it costs them.
clean all the things!!!: it's harriet walter!thepresidentrix on January 3rd, 2011 07:10 pm (UTC)
What if I offer you Harriet Walter as police captain?

Eh?

Eh?
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on January 3rd, 2011 08:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes! This is an important consideration--don't forget about that!
viomisehuntviomisehunt on December 28th, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
When the show first came on I visited the CP official website and they put a lot of emphasis on active prevention and victims right. And the CP office is relatively new to Britain, compared to our system.

The original series seemed exploitative with its straight from the headlines approach. It mellowed through the years, but at first I had a love/hate relationship with it, because often they would feature stories reflecting crimes that had not been solved. But the series grew on me. I love SUV and LOCI, and LOLA is getting better. LOUK only weakness is adpating the old plots, but there is enough difference in cultures and in the actors dynamic to make you forget the source material. Jamie's good looks are distracting, but his Matt is very decent cop, and he doesn't have that irritating quality you find when they cast the younger cop as the ingenue so to speak, and and his character grows on you. His character is sweet without hurting your teeth. I adore the rest of the cast, and Freema and Ben Daniels are a pure joy to watch in the little intimate scenes they get. Their little flirtation is sexy in a open, innocent, wholesome way, and you just don't see that anymore. Freema's Alesha is wonderful, intelligent, down to Earth and strong in a good way.
tempestsarekind: martha londontempestsarekind on December 29th, 2010 11:30 pm (UTC)
His character is sweet without hurting your teeth.

True. I think that if James Steel weren't around, I'd like Matt Devlin a lot more! :)
clean all the things!!!: apollothepresidentrix on January 3rd, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks to your reminder, I finally found some episodes of LOUK on BBC America on-demand! I have to say, they were better than I anticipated. (American L&O is popcorn television at best, and I usually end up just finding it irritating).

I appreciated the fact that the cop characters actively discussed the chain of evidence throughout their investigation, rather than just making suppositions and leaving evidence to the lawyers. (Like, picking fights with the D.A. every week, because the prosecutors will inevitably point out that they can't convict the latest suspect without *proof.* What's up with that? Make bricks without straw, you lousy prosecutors! It's justice!)

So far, I also enjoy the gentle needling between Jamie Bamber's character and his partner but agree that the young cop character seems a bit of a trope and not *remarkably* well-written. (Especially for British tv, which one often can't help but hold to a higher standard). Still, I am tickled that Jamie gets to hang out with Freema - and Harriet Walter! I childishly wanted Freema and Jamie to get together until I saw the sparks flying between Freema and her CP colleague. (I mean, think how pretty the babies would be! *stars in eyes*) I also want Freema and Jamie to become best friends so he can get a guest job on Doctor Who...

Along with Harriet Walter... (She'd be awesome on Doctor Who!)

Anyway, after only three episodes, I'm hardly an expert on the show's merits and shortcomings, but I am left to wonder: why are the police 'law' and the crown prosecutors 'order'? I would have had it the other way around. But then I guess the credits wouldn't show the people in the order they normally appear in the episode. :o)

In conclusion, I can definitely see how this show is not the ideal means, but we have just got to figure out some way to make you fall in love with Jamie Bamber. Any time something is true of both Valancy and me but not you, I think something has gone terribly wrong in the world and want to fix it, LOL.

tempestsarekind: freema in the mirrortempestsarekind on January 3rd, 2011 08:23 pm (UTC)
Like, picking fights with the D.A. every week, because the prosecutors will inevitably point out that they can't convict the latest suspect without *proof.*

Argh, yes! I was pleasantly surprised not to have that happening in every episode. It's like they think the audience doesn't really believe in the law, or something.

I wondered about the "law" and "order" designations, too. I think I worked it out in my head as the enforcement of law and the creation of order, but I realize that this is an utterly weak attempt to justify what is probably just the fact that the police come first in the episodes, as you say.

Any time something is true of both Valancy and me but not you, I think something has gone terribly wrong in the world and want to fix it, LOL.

Hee! It's not that I didn't like him; I just didn't love him. But I think that a lot of that has to do with the fact that his character is, as you put it, "a bit of a trope." I didn't start loving Matthew Macfadyen until Little Dorrit, after all; it often takes the right combination of actor and part.

As for Freema and Ben Daniels: yes. I can't help wanting their characters to get together, even though it was pretty clear from the episodes I saw that Matt Devlin has a thing for Alesha.
clean all the things!!!: archiethepresidentrix on January 6th, 2011 04:36 am (UTC)
Hee! It's not that I didn't like him; I just didn't love him.

That'll do. For now... :o)

But I think that a lot of that has to do with the fact that his character is, as you put it, "a bit of a trope." I didn't start loving Matthew Macfadyen until Little Dorrit, after all; it often takes the right combination of actor and part.

Definitely. Last time I checked the old IMDB, it looked like Jamie Bamber has movie on to some kind of British scifi project, so I'll have to wait and see on that. (If he's moved on, does that mean LOUK is over, or is he just leaving the cast? Is Freema staying?) If I had to guess, I'd say he only took the job in the first place to support his 3-5 (I can never remember) tiny identical blonde daughters. Hee. Cop shows - even pretty good ones - have never seemed to his taste. I wish he'd do more period dramas, personally. :o)

And absoflogginlutely to your comment about Matthew McFadyen. He was wonderful in Little Dorrit, but I'd never given two hoots about him before. Well, other than to note that he looks like the British (Scottish?) Jim Halpert...

As for Freema and Ben Daniels: yes. I can't help wanting their characters to get together, even though it was pretty clear from the episodes I saw that Matt Devlin has a thing for Alesha.

Really? Maybe I haven't seen the right episodes yet. I thought Jamie and Freema was something I made up. And yet, I still totally recant. Freema and 'James Steel' all the way! Jamie will get over the disappointment. Eventually.
tempestsarekind: arthur clennam [little dorrit]tempestsarekind on January 7th, 2011 02:14 am (UTC)
Well, I'm never not up for more period dramas. :)

I find British TV a tiny bit confusing; I like the shorter seasons and the fact that one can tell a straightforward story and then end it, instead of finding ways to keep the franchise running - but I do wonder how something like L&O:UK (based on a quintessential long-running franchise) will fit into that. But I am also up for more British sci-fi, so I wish Jamie Bamber the best in whatever!

I'm sure Matt Devlin will find someone else. I'm trying to remember, now, what gave me the impression that he was interested in Alesha...maybe I made it up, too!
clean all the things!!!: archiethepresidentrix on January 19th, 2011 02:26 am (UTC)
Ohhh, Tempests.

Having had a very productive day at school today, I decided to reward myself with a little free time this evening. I don't remember why I decided to look into LOUK specifically, but I ended up on Youtube watching videos of Freema and Jamie (always separately; nobody ever interviews them together, since one is 'Law' and the other is 'Order' - heh. I'd watch videos of Harriet Walter, too, only she doesn't seem to be a prime specimen for chat show publicity). And Freema was so happy - it really blew me away. She's even more charismatic and bubbly as herself than she is as any particular character I've seen her play. And now I can pronounce her last name. For which I'm glad.

And then in the related links, parts of what seemed to be a whole episode of LOUK heretofore unseen by me, turned up. And I was like: that looks good, I'll watch it.

But oh Tempests! It was the episode from season 1 called 'Alesha' (and here I thought picking an episode named after one of the characters was a good idea?) and I'm sure you know exactly the one I mean. And I just wasn't prepared for how awful it would be - the events of the story, not the quality. Even from the first few frames of Alesha in her hospital gown, just this sense of... dread. Pity. Fear. You start screaming in your mind, 'oh honey, get out of there!' long before you have any idea what you think is going to happen. At least, I did.

And it turned out not even to be the whole episode, so if there is any sense of closure, I don't have it. The available video cut out right after the scene where they're all (why all of them?!) sitting in the same room watching Alesha's video.

It's left me feeling so, so rotten. One minute you're thinking 'Oh what a pretty cardigan she's wearing, with all those tiny buttons,' and then the next you want to bawl your eyes out for her.

I find, in fact, that my feelings about somebody hurting Freema are even more acute than they would be for another actor's sympathetic character. I wonder if it has something to do with the way Doctor Who companions are created in part to do the task of humanizing, but I have all these deep, fierce, protective empathetic feelings toward them.

Oh, sigh...

It doesn't do anything to assuage the deep-in-the-gut awfulness I feel for poor Alesha, of course, but Matt Devlin and James Steel are both really interesting in this episode. Matt's not really *helping* with his single-mindedness, but it's still tough to see him getting wrenched this way and that, and poor James seems like this deep frozen river of pain, but there's nothing moving on the surface (so far), and that can't be making Alesha feel much better, either. Characters who have to suffer quietly can be such a strange mix of pitiable and infuriating.

I wish Harriet Walter could eat that guy's heart in the marketplace (or carry out her own plan for anatomical retribution, either way), but I'm given to understand that's not allowed in England.

:o(

Oh, LOUK. I did not see this coming. I did not think you were going to break my heart...

Edited at 2011-01-19 02:31 am (UTC)
tempestsarekind: i love freema's bunny facetempestsarekind on January 19th, 2011 09:07 pm (UTC)
(This icon is from an interview Freema did at one point, and I felt I needed it, for lo, she is utterly adorable!)

I'm glad you had a productive day! But oh, I am not so glad that you came upon "Alesha" unawares. Because I try to keep my ear to the ground regarding Freema, I'd heard about that episode before I saw it--which didn't help with the dread, or the feelings of protectiveness (I definitely have those too, about Freema at least--I haven't had much chance to test it out with any other companion-actors in different parts), but it did mean that I knew what I was getting myself into, when I watched it.

And yes--it's interesting to watch how the male characters deal with what happens, because their feelings for Alesha are clearly there, but their jobs mean that there's nothing they can do for her, in a way. If they were just her friends, they could be her support system irrespective of what needs to happen legally; they could even tell her to take her case to court without being responsible for how the case goes. But here they're in this awful position of wanting to help, but knowing that anything they can do to help is actually quite problematic from a legal standpoint.

Aside from that, I found myself just sitting there furiously during this episode. Is it any wonder that more rape cases don't get prosecuted, when it's so easy for rapists to play the "she wanted it" card and have people believe them?